BRIEFING: New Zealand input into global study

ONLINE MEDIA BRIEFING – Friday 19 September at 2pm (NZT) – online (in collaboration with the Australian Science Media Centre)

Giving children paracetamol during their first year of life can increase their risk of developing asthma according to New Zealand-led research to be published in Lancet. Currently over 600,000 New Zealanders have asthma and incidence has been increasing over the last 50 years but we don’t exactly know why.

This study found that use of paracetamol in the first year of life and in later childhood, is associated with increased risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema at age 6 to 7 years. The study also found a strong dose-dependent association, as the risk of asthma symptoms was three-fold higher with frequent paracetamol use. The study included over 200,000 six and seven year-old children from over 30 countries, as part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) programme.

To obtain a copy of the research which is under strict global embargo until 11am (NZT), Friday September 19, please contact the Science Media Centre.

SPEAKERS: · Professor Richard Beasley, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand


DATE: 19 September 2008 START TIME: 2pm (NZT)

DURATION: Approx 20 min

VENUE: Online

JOINING ONLINE: Journalists can follow the briefing online via audio and video streaming. Each presenter will speak for 5-7 minutes followed by questions. Journalists will have the opportunity to ask questions online.

1. Go to the AusSMC briefing web portal by clicking here 5 minutes before the start time or anytime during the briefing. Alternatively go to and follow the links.

2. Enter your name and email address

3. Click “Join”. (System requirements: You will need a broadband connection and speakers/headphones to hear the event. Allow 1-2 mins for your computer to be configured correctly, install ActiveX, if asked)

*Note* some journalists may not be able to access the briefing online due to a firewall issue and may need to join us over the phone instead. For phone only access please call: toll free 0800 448 307.

Enter meeting number 821 249 073 press #. Wait for the prompt and press #. Radio stations can also record the briefing over a phone line. Audio files will be posted on the AusSMC website at as soon as possible after the event.

For further information, please contact the New Zealand SMC on 04 499 5476 or email